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Sociology of the body

This essay will examine the dominant construction of heterosexual sex in the society and mens
increasing engagement in beauty practices. Whereas masculinity in dominant construction of
heterosexual sex remains almost unchanged, there is change in mens involvement in beauty
Dominant construction of heterosexual sex
The dominant construction of heterosexual sex is established on the perception that sexual
relations should only occur between male and female. Speaking from this perspective, dominant
construction of heterosexual sex is discriminatory in nature whereby any form of sexual relation
outside the sexual attraction and relation between a male and a female is perceived as abnormal.
In reference to Miles (2013), the only normal way to express sexual intimacy is through
penetrative vaginal intercourse, while any other form of sexual expressions in a heterosexual
relationship termed as foreplay. Moreover, this sex construct is masculine. This implies that in
any heterosexual relationship, men have influence over women. According to Seuffert (2013), in
such a scenario, men are expected to dominate in the relationship while women are expected to
submit to men. In this case, the proponents of dominant construction of heterosexual sex are of
the opinion that women exist because of men, and to show total devotion and perfect love to
men, they need to relinquish different aspects of their identity.
Increasingly engagement of men in beauty practices
Men are increasingly engaging in beauty practices. This is as a result of the medias continued
idealisation and eroticisation of the male body. This has contributed to mens desire to engage in
beauty practices. Dewing and Foster (2007) observe that masculinity models who emphasize the

importance of body appearance have gained fame in the popular culture and their perceptions are
fast gaining ground because of the proliferation of the media in the society. The impact of
idealisation and eroticisation of the male body is seen in the massive growth of mens grooming
market, which by 2009 was approximately $191 million (Dewing and Foster 2007). Therefore,
while beauty practices were once considered feminist, they are becoming a common norm
among men because of increasing body awareness. This has a negative impact on masculinity in
the society.
In brief, dominant construction of heterosexual sex supports normal sexual attractions between a
male and female. Similarly, the number of men who engage in beauty practices has increased
considerably due to continued idealisation and eroticisation of the male body.

Reference List
Dewing, S., & Foster, D. (2007). Mens body related practices and meanings of masculinity.
Psychology in Society, 35, 3842.
Miles, L. (2013) Women, aids, and power in heterosexual sex: A discourse analysis. in Toward
a new psychology of gender: A reader. ed. by Gergen, M. M., and Davis, S. N. New York:
Seuffert, N. (2013) Domestic violence, discourses of romantic love, and complex personhood in
the law. in Romancing the Tomes: Popular culture, law and feminism. ed. by Thornton,
M. London: Cavendish Publishing Limited.